Even when they were outnumbered, they didn’t go down without a fight. And with one sharp set piece from deep in the box, they knocked out one powerhouse after another. Kim Eun-Joong-ho’s “organizational football” is once again in the spotlight as South Korea looks to reach the U-20 World Cup finals for the second time in four years.

On Friday, the South Korean U-20 football team, led by Kim Eun-joong, defeated Nigeria 1-0 in extra time in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina to reach the quarterfinals.

Kim and his players have only one tactic for this tournament: the classic “defend first, attack later” approach. With a solid organization, the team focuses on defense first to take away the opponent’s strength to attack, and then, after winning the ball, the speedy second line attackers quickly run forward and aim for the goal. In their first group game against France, Korea won 2-1 thanks to sharp counterattacks despite being outshot 32%-57%, and in their round of 16 match against Ecuador, they won 3-2 despite being outplayed.

The problem is when opponents don’t have the same kind of defense as Korea. This was the case against Nigeria. Nigeria didn’t create many chances against South Korea’s tight defense, but they also didn’t drop their line high enough to give South Korea’s attackers much room to run back.

Lee Seung-won’s fourth ‘courier’ on his toes
Organizational football Shine the light

It was a set piece that broke the deadlock. In the fifth minute of the first overtime, Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) sent in a corner kick from the left side, and Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University) leaped up to head home a deflected header. It was the only shot on goal for South Korea, and it was a killer.

South Korea have had a lot of fun with set pieces in this tournament. From the group stage through the quarterfinals, they have scored eight goals in five games, with half of those goals – four – coming from set pieces. All four of those goals started at the feet of captain Lee Seung-won, who has a great kick. Lee’s cleverly placed crosses were met by players in the right place at the right time for headers.

메이저사이트 South Korea had a difficult time preparing for this tournament. The tournament was moved from Indonesia to Argentina, which made traveling difficult, and most of the main players were out of form due to lack of playing time with their respective clubs, as well as the lack of time to play a proper exhibition game. In this situation, Kim focused on improving his players’ organizational skills and worked hard on set-piece preparation, which helped Korea go undefeated in the tournament. They are the only team in the tournament’s top four to remain unbeaten.

Kim Dae-gil, a commentator for Kyunghyang Shinmun, said, “This team reminds me of Greece at Euro 2004. “In the tournament after the group stage, we need to show what we can do in still shots, so we can be strong in defense. In that respect, the promised set pieces looked very good.”

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